On Feb. 10, the William Jewell College Swim Team competed in the Great Lakes Vally Conference (GLVC) Championship meet. The men’s team finished sixth, with 340 points overall. The women’s team finished fifth with 290 points. Records and personal bests were re-written across the board, as both teams seemed to have standout performances in the big moment. I was able to talk to coach Mark Gole and some of the top performing athletes about this event.
“The team’s preparation for this event cannot be explained in a paragraph or even the length of this newspaper. In short, we got this team to be as physically fit as possible and worked on their technique while pushing them to swim speeds that would help them compete to the level of competition,” said Gole.
“We do a lot of weights, and running as well as swimming to keep us in the best shape we can be in,” said sophomore international relations and french major Delaney Haralson.
Haralson finished the day by placing fourth in the 400 individual medley (IM) event.
“It’s a lot of work, but definitely necessary since we finish with a four day meet that basically lasts all day,” she said.
Many members on both teams had the best performances of their careers.
“The greater majority of the members of the men’s and women’s swimming program went lifetime best times in at least one or two of their individual events,” said Gole. “Only a handful did not go a best time and the coaching staff is still trying to figure out how that happened. I applaud the individuals that commit themselves to working as hard as possible to swim as fast as they do at the end of the year.”
Trey Roggenstein, senior recreation and sport major, was one of these Cardinals who performed well, placing fifth in the 400 IM.
“Everyone wants to be that one person to step up and lead the team,” said Roggenstein. “This year we had some great performances right from the first swim of the meet til the last one. I think many people surprised themselves with how they did.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams also took home the James R. Spalding sportsmanship award from the event.
“Winning the sportsmanship award on both the men’s and women’s side means a great deal to me and the program,” said Gole. “Supporting their teammates and cheering on their opponents has become something that the members of this program see as the right thing to do.”
According to Gole, the men’s team has won the award every year the GLVC has sponsored swimming, and the women’s team has won the award twice in the last four years.
“We do try to make it a point to be the loudest, proudest team by the pool, especially during finals,” said Haralson.
While a few individuals and relay teams will be making an attempt to qualify for the NCAA Division II national championships in March, for the majority of the team, this is an uplifting end to their season. Gole and the team seem eager to improve next season.
Photo courtesy of Jewell Athletics.